What is a Sitemap in SEO and Why is it Important for Your Blog/Website?

If you have a website and you want better results for it in search results, then a sitemap can help you in that. There are plenty of pages in websites and it is required that Search Engines can easily check them all. Have a look at the below definition of sitemap in SEO to understand what actually sitemap is.

What is a Sitemap in SEO?

A sitemap contains the list of all the pages of your website that helps all the search engines like Google and Bing etc. to better crawl your website. This will help you to get all your pages indexed faster. In simple words, a sitemap in seo is just like the “index” page in a book that helps you to better understand what information is available in a book.

Types of Sitemap in SEO

There are two types of sitemap

  • XML Sitemap
  • HTML Sitemap

XML Sitemap – XML sitemap is used for the search engines as the language used in this cannot be understood by humans but search engines do understand this. This sitemap helps search engines to completely understand what pages a website actually contains. Below is the XML sitemap example.

XML sitemap Example

HTML Sitemap – This sitemap is used for users of a website. HTML sitemaps help users to find the information that they want. If there is no HTML sitemap in a website that has plenty of pages, it can bother your users as if they find it difficult to use the website, they will never visit again. The example of such types of Sitemaps is a shopping website. You probably have visited some shopping websites and found that they categorized all their products so that you can easily find the product you are looking for.

Importance of Sitemap in SEO

The sitemap plays a very crucial role in SEO. As mentioned above an XML sitemap helps search engines to better crawl the website. Moreover, sitemap also let the search engines know when a website or a page is updated and the search engine will crawl that page again. All this will help you to get better rankings as if a search engine finds that your website is well organized and updated frequently, it will rank you higher.

As far as HTML sitemap’s concern, it also plays a great role in SEO as it makes your website user-friendly. For example, if your website is well organized, users will stay for a longer time and if it is not then they will bounce back immediately and a high bounce rate will decrease your rankings.

How To Generate XML Sitemap?

If you are thinking that it is very difficult to generate or maintain a sitemap, then there is good news for you. Generating a sitemap is super easy. There are plenty of websites available that can generate a sitemap for you. Keep in mind that if you generated sitemap with these websites, then you have to also upload it to your website. When uploaded, you can check it by adding “sitemap.xml” at the last of your URL e.g. for my website, I can check it here https://www.moveonspace.com/sitemap.xml

List of some sitemap builder websites is mentioned below

  • https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
  • http://ctrlq.org/blogger/
  • https://xmlsitemapgenerator.org/
  • http://www.web-site-map.com/
  • https://smallseotools.com/xml-sitemap-generator/

If you have a WordPress website, then you can use the Yoast SEO plugin. It automatically generates a sitemap for your blog or website. And, in case you are not familiar with Yoast, then you can use any other plug-in. There are many more plug-ins available in WordPress that generate a sitemap automatically. The list of such plugins is here.

  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/
  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/xml-sitemaps/
  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/www-xml-sitemap-generator-org/
  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/mb-sitemap-generator/

How to Submit XML Sitemap to Google?

So, now when you know how to generate a sitemap, the next step is to submit it to Google. Just like generating a sitemap, submitting it is also very easy. Just sign in to Google Search Console. (If you don’t have a Search console account, just create one or sign in with your Gmail and add your website there.)

  • Now, click on your website.

click on your website

  • On the left side of your screen, find the option Crawl and click on it

click crawl

  • From there, find the “Sitemap” option and click on it

find sitemap option

  • Now, on the right side of the screen, you will find “ADD/TEST SITEMAP”, click on it

click add sitemap

  • A box will open. Type “Sitemap.xml” and click on “Test”

type sitemap

  • After that click on “View Test”

view test result

  • If your sitemap is working it will show you total pages that a sitemap contains
  • Now Close the test and again click on “ADD/TEST SITEMAP” and type “sitemap.xml”

close test

  • Click on “Submit”

type sitemap

  • That’s it. Your sitemap is submitted to Google. You can visit after a few hours and check how many of your URLs have been indexed by Google.

 

How to Submit XML Sitemap to Bing

To submit a sitemap to Bing, open Bing Webmaster and sign in (If you don’t have an account create and then add your website and verify it). Now follow the below instructions:

  • From the left side of your screen, click on Sitemaps

submit sitemap to bing

  • Add the URL of your website that includes sitemap.xml at the end, just like we checked above

enter url

  • Now, hit Submit
  • Your Sitemap is submitted to Bing now. You can check back in a few hours to check how many URLs are been submitted.

sitemap submitted

That’s it. Now you are all set to get better results in the search engine result page. Hope you understand everything I stated above. If you have any question or doubt, feel free to ask.

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32 thoughts on “What is a Sitemap in SEO and Why is it Important for Your Blog/Website?

    1. Great content is where it all starts. You can have all the keywords in the world, but if your content is no good, people won’t stick around on your site and search engines won’t find your site valuable.

  1. Yes. I too have realised the importance of sitemaps. And going by your suggestions, will do one for my blog too! Thanks for the tips!

  2. I’ve recently been toying with the idea of trying to build my seo and get my blog higher in rankings but it seems like a daunting task! Maybe I should just pay someone to sort it all out?

  3. This is very interesting . Explains a lot, I have so much to learn about it! But it’s a great post to start from..

  4. What? I did not know that sitemap was important for SEO. I am heading over to my website to check. Very useful article.

  5. I became a big fan of your blog posts. Whenever I have any problem related to the blog, I opened your website…I have not submitted the sitemap to Bing but now going to do that…Thanks for sharing this post.

  6. Thank you for your post, I am still learning how to be a better blogger and I have learned a lot by reading your post.

  7. I recently had problems in finding sitemap of my site and googled it and couldn’t find any basic explanation that would actually make me understand what it is. Yours seems easy to understand.

  8. Great information. i will have to try this. Saving it to my mix account for later. I have to step up my SEO game. Thanks Simerbir

  9. I’m familiar with sitemaps from my day job, but never thought about needing one for my blog. Will look into it. Phew, every day something new to add….

  10. Oooh that’s super helpful, thank you for sharing. I will look into a sitemap for my SEO for sure. Anything to help get your blog out there is important.

  11. I’ve always been told that site maps are important for every website, for SEO purposes but I’ve never actually had one because I didn’t know how to create one.

  12. Sitemaps are very frequently forgotten by newbie bloggers because they can be intimidated with the technical aspect of it. Good thing there are tools and plugins that they can use to help them submit their sitemaps to Google and others search engines without a problem. Great information here and its very friendly for new bloggers.

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